The United States has threatened to cut off its funds to UNESCO, if the UN organization recognizes Palestine as a full member of the United Nations.
US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland gave the warning on Wednesday, adding that there would be serious repercussions for the UN body, AFP reported.
“We’ve made the point that there are very clear red lines in US legislation,” Nuland said.
US legislation requires that funds to any UN body which recognizes Palestine as a full UN member be cut off.
The US currently provides 22 percent of the UNESCO budget.
UNESCO’s executive committee on October 5 overwhelmingly voted to approve the Palestinian membership bid at the UN. The decision needs the approval of the general assembly of the organization.
On September 23, acting Palestinian Authority (PA) Chief Mahmoud Abbas presented UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon with the statehood proposal during the UN General Assembly’s annual session in New York, based on the pre-1967 borders.
The US has repeatedly threatened to veto the bid at the UN Security Council. Washington, however, does not have a veto power at the UNESCO.
More than 100 countries have so far officially recognized Palestine as a state based on the 1967 borders, the boundaries that existed before Israel captured and annexed East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.